Howell woman accused of stealing $2.2 million from ex-employer charged for stealing from another employer

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FILE PHOTO: Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker at a bank in Westminster

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ – A Howell Township woman who was criminally charged last month for stealing more than $2.2 million from her ex-employer over the course of seven years is facing new charges.

Now, Donna Cook, 52, has been additionally criminally charged with stealing more than $67,000 from her next employer, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.

“After news coverage of Cook’s January arrest circulated, her next employer, a Shrewsbury-based excavating company, reviewed its financial records – and discovered that from early November 2021 into early January 2022, Cook had allegedly written multiple checks out to cash, and an additional check made out to directly pay a personal expense, with forged signatures, according to an investigation by the MCPO Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau,” Prosecutor Linskey said.

Linskey said Cook turned herself in to authorities for the second time on Friday, after which she was released with a pending first appearance to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

“The arrest was made a little more than a week after her scheduled first appearance in the initial case against her, which resulted in separate charges of second-degree Theft, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering in connection with Cook’s alleged actions taken while at her previous employer, a Tinton Falls-based construction company,” Linskey added.

These cases are being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos. Cook is being represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., with an office in Freehold.

If convicted on the second-degree offense, Cook faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.